0 Urban land use: grass is good, trees are better

A Woodland Trust report highlighting the cost savings and other benefits of planting woodland as opposed to grassland in urban areas will be launched tomorrow (Tuesday, June 28) at the Local Government Association conference at Birmingham International Conference Centre.

Whilst recognising the value and importance of open spaces, the report, "Trees or Turf - best value in managing urban green space", produced for the charity by Land Use Consultants, compares the costs of maintaining a number of grassland regimes with those of different woodland types in urban areas. The results show that native woodland creation can provide an attractive and less costly alternative to amenity grassland in the right location.

The Woodland Trust believes there are opportunities for tree planting and woodland creation in and around our towns and cities and the report also provides background to the values and benefits of urban trees for people and the environment. It identifies important policy reasons that are also in line with the recent National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) and the Natural Environment White Paper (NEWP), both of which emphasise the need for more tree planting and woodland creation.

The benefits of woodland in the urban environment are far reaching with the potential cost savings just one motive of establishing trees. The report also outlines the direct or indirect cost savings of the broader benefits to be gained from planting trees, including flood mitigation, increased biodiversity, improved air quality, reduced energy costs for buildings, improved health outcomes and locally sourced timber and wood fuel.

Woodland Trust Policy Officer Nick Sandford said, "What's clear from the report is that well planned and designed woodland planting can not only reduce the long term maintenance costs of green space, but can also provide a wide range of benefits, including the opportunity to deliver the sort of ecosystem benefits suggested in the NEA and NEWP."

Copies of the full report can be downloaded from www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/treessavemoney

For further information, contact the press office on 01476 581111 or email media@woodlandtrust.org.uk.

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